Friday, December 31, 2010

1st Exhibit for 2011!

If you happen to live in the UP in Michigan or are having a winter ski vacation in that area, be sure to check out the exhibit, Venus Rising: A Celebration of Women in Art at the Spies Library Gallery in Menominee, Michigan. The exhibit is showing the work of the following artists:
Laurie Ceesay
Kathleen Eaton
Patricia Johnson
and Glenda Banta
The exhibit will run from January 4 thru January 31, 2011. A reception will be held on January 6th from 4 - 7 p.m. Don't miss this opportunity to view art work from these women. A great way to start out the New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

From our families to you and your family!!

Happy Holidays!

Your SAQA Michigan Reps
Mary Andrews
Robbie Payne

Monday, December 13, 2010

Just some news...

For those of you who don't receive update posts from the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative blog, you need to check out the current entry by Ami Simms. To quote Ami, "We now have proof that what we do with a needle and thread can truly make a difference." It's a wonderful post and perfect for this time of year.

Also, Marilyn Prucka, our October profile, has her web site up and running!! Check it out here and make sure to look at her calendar page here. Marilyn has a workshop and a presentation in the spring of 2011.

Don't forget to send us any update or news you would like to share with our SAQA Michigan members. You can't beat the cost for us to post! Just email your update to

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Artist Profile for December

Our Artist Profile this month is:

Mary Vinovskis
Ann Arbor, Michigan

How long have you been sewing and when did you begin making art quilts? I learned to sew from my mother, who helped me make clothes for my dolls, then, later, for me. My grandmothers taught me to knit and crochet, and, over the years, I used all these skills to make things for myself, my family, and my home.
My first quilt was a baby quilt for my son. He was also the recipient of additional quilts (all traditional patterns) as he grew. My first art quilt was made in 2004 after I took some workshops at the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild's weekend retreat (called Quilt University then.) In the quilt, I combined all the techniques I had been introduced to at QU: dyeing, texturizing fabric with Tyvek, and stack and slice fabric mixing. I had also started to watch Alex Anderson's TV show, Simply Quilts, at about that time, and that first quilt included many of the techniques I learned form her show: chenille strips, wired petals, free motion stitching, applique (hand and machine.) See description of "Bouquet for QU-2003" below.
Describe your art and its inspiration. My art is evolving - I'm trying to find my own style. It is more abstract than realistic. The fabric is often the inspiration. The interaction of shapes, patterns, colors, line and layers is what I focus on.
I have worked in several art media: watercolor, acrylics, serigraphs, but working with fabric is now foremost. An early influence in art quilts came form the books of Ruth B McDowell. Her techniques appealed to me because they combined careful piecing and any level of abstraction of the source idea you wished. Her fearless combinations of fabrics was also a big influence. Another important inspiration came from Rosemary Eichorn's book, The Art of Fabric Collage. Her use of a variety of fabrics and her raw edge applique methods were very liberating for me. I've taken many workshops and continue to try to learn additional ways of working.
Where do you do most of your artwork? I work in a spare bedroom that I have filled to bursting with fabric and books. I'm working on reorganizing the laundry room so I can do some dyeing.
What are your goals? I want to create more of my own fabric using the new methods I've sampled recently: soy wax batik, gelatin monoprinting, screen printing, and painting. I also want to continue to enter shows - the deadlines help me focus.
Do you teach, lecture, curate or have a business of your artwork? No.
Where can your work be seen? None of my work is currently on exhibit. I had a piece in the Threadlines 2008 exhibit at Missouri State University Art & Design Center in Springfield, MO. Another quilt has been traveling for two years with the SAQA Points of View exhibit. It just returned from the William Bonifas Fine Art Center in Escanaba, MI.
What are your interests outside of art? My other interests include gardening, cooking, and bridge.

The quilt in Mary's picture above is called, Bouquet for QU-2003. It is 24 x 28 inches and was created in 2004.
Description/Technique: Many of the petals and leaves are three-dimensional. Some have wire satin-stitched to them and can be bent into various positions. The snail shell was texturized with Tyvek that was stitched to the back and then heated until it wrinkled the fabric.

Riga Remembered
37" x 48"

This quilt commemorates our family's trip to Latvia. I used Ruth B. McDowell's pattern for the sweet peas and then used her design methods to adapt my photos of the cathedral and the surrounding buildings for the background.

Opposing Forces
39" x 49"

This quilt has fabric strips and shapes, dressmaker trims, cords, ribbons, tapes, yarns, rickrack, rayon and metallic embroidery threads, suede strips, and beads applied to a pieced batik background. The title refers to the two forces necessary to move an object in a spiral path.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Drum Roll, Please!

Our winners of the SAQA catalog, Transformations 2007: Reverberations' are:
True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 10 (Karen Olson)
True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 2 (Donna Hamilton)
Congrats! Your catalog will be in the mail next week! Thanks for entering and hope you enjoy your inspiration!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Book Signing

Judi Blaydon will be signing her newest book, 'Collage + Cloth = Quilt, Create Innovative Quilts' from Photo Inspirations, at the Arts & Green Holiday Market in White Lake this Saturday, November 20 from 1-3. For more information, please visit Arts & Green site here.
Also, check back as we'll be announcing the winners of our SAQA catalog give-away!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November Give-Away

Yep, it's that time again! We're actually giving away two copies this month of the SAQA catalog, Transformations 2007: Reverberations!
This catalog contains quilts that were juried in by Sandra Sider. Sandra's goal for this exhibition "was to select a group of quilts in which ideas or emotions were successfully expressed through color, line and texture." You'll find some great inspiration from this catalog.

You just need to leave a comment on this post only. You can enter more than once but make sure to leave your email address (in addition to your name) if you don't have a blog or website that provides your email. You have until Thursday, November 18th @ midnight! Winner will be announced on Friday the 19th! Good luck!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

What to do...

So your weekend is over with but what about next weekend! What to do! Here's something to put on your calendar for November! The Aussome fiber group, which is made up of SAQA Michigan members, Mary Andrews, Lois Ann Fulton (from Italy), Karen Kiley Olson, Robbie Payne and Carol Tamasiunas, is having their exhibit, "Inspired by the Masters" on display at the Novi Parks, Recreation and Cultural Center starting November 5th thru November 28th.
This exhibit consists of 31 pieces of unique and colorful quilts that explores the ideas, color and methodology of several art Masters, such as Friedensreich Hundertwasser and Gustav Klimt, just to name a few. Here's a sneak peak at some of the art work on exhibit.
Lois Ann Fulton, Inspired by Katsushika Hokusai

Mary Andrews, Inspired by Friedensreich Hundertwasser
Karen Kiley Olson, Inspired by Gustav Klimt
Robbie Payne, Inspired by Helen Frankenthaler
Carol Tamasiunas, Inspired by Aubrey Beardsley

The opening reception for the Inspired by the Masters exhibit will be on November 5th from 6-8 p.m. Mark your calendars and make sure to get out to Novi to see this art exhibit. The Novi Cultural Center is located at 45175 West 10 Mile Road in Novi, Michigan. You can read more about this exhibit and other events on their website here.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

October SAQA Michigan Profile

Our October SAQA Michigan Profile is:

Marilyn M. Prucka
Monroe, Michigan

How long have you been sewing and when did you begin making art quilts? I’ve been drawing, painting, sewing and making fiber things ever since I can remember. My paternal grandmother was a tremendous influence. She made and did about everything. My grandfather only had to mow lawn. I can still hear the clickety-clack of her treadle sewing machine. I’ve always had the notion that ‘hey, I think I can make that.’ Under the direction of my mother I started using a sewing machine when I was 14. I started formal quilting classes in 1998 and making art quilts in 2002 while in graduate school. In 2001, I was studying printmaking and by chance took a dye and fibers class as an elective. I fell in love with the possibilities of fibers as an art medium. I now have an MFA in Textiles from Eastern Michigan University, 2005.

Describe your art and its inspiration. My work is abstract expressionist. I love to dye and do any kind of surface design technique. I’m particularly interested in texture both real and implied. For many years Monroe’s River Raisin and its surrounding landscape has been the seed for my art. I’m fascinated by the colors of fleeting light whether early morning or late day. Where do you do most of your artwork? A year ago I found a unique little house along the river and have since converted it into a fiber studio. I weave as well and between my sewing tools, looms and related paraphernalia I had really crowded my family. It took me 23 years to get through art school. I have a lot of supplies! The only thing about a studio away from home is that now I have to set a timer to remind myself to go home. I have two etching presses but those are at home in the basement. I still do print sessions a few weeks a year.

What are your goals? The first and already in motion is to spend more time in studio. So, I’m cutting back on being active in local fiberart groups. The second is to finally get my website going. I took a couple website classes from Ypsilanti artist, Dee Overly, last fall. I want to be able to make my own site and maintain it. I’m considering taking more web classes at my local community college. The next is to apply for exhibition venues outside of the state of Michigan and to find a gallery to represent me.

Do you teach, lecture, curate or have a business of your artwork? Yes to all of the above. I’ve been a guest lecturer at Wayne State University, Adrian College and Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. I’ve taught workshops in indigo, textile paints, chemical resist, potato and corn dextrin, collagraph printmaking and polymer clay. I’ve coordinated several local fine art and fiber exhibitions mostly as an officer of various groups. That started in graduate school. I find that it gives one confidence and a good idea of organization. It’s also a great way to meet all kinds of artists and patrons. My art has been a part-time business for a long time. With graduation 5 years ago and the new studio it’s now fulltime.

Where can your work be seen? I try to schedule at least one solo show every year. Plymouth Community Arts Council in Plymouth, MI, the latest was September 1-30, 2010. “Confluence” Of 18 quilts on display, I had 8 new little quilts from a series I called River meets Land. It reflects the area around my new studio. I’ll have two quilts in a show sponsored by the River Gallery of Chelsea, MI, and curator assisted by Ann Arbor fiber artist, Susan Moran. The show “From Tradition to Innovation” will be September 27 – December 6, 2010 at the University of Michigan, Rackham Building. I enter several local competitions a year. I recently had a quilt that won an honorable mention at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center’s Michigan Fine Arts Competition. I think it’s important to enter general fine arts competitions. I’ve gotten into the Toledo Museum of Art’s, Toledo Area Artists several times as well, with a quilt and prints.

What are your interests outside of art? 1st, is my family: Bob, my hubby of 40 years, and I now have grandchildren. We are blessed with one grand baby from each of our three sons and their spouses. 2nd, I always have something crafty that I’m working on. I learned to spin 2 ½ years ago and so now I’m incorporating that into my crochet, knitting and weaving. And of course I love to dye those fibers. I like to collect old crochet patterns, especially anything baby or doily or thread crochet related and older than 1950. My weaving is getting more intense. I’m in my 5th year of membership in Cross Border Weavers, a weave study group, with members from across southern Michigan and two in Ontario, Canada. I’ve met some fabulous artisans and made grand friends through my various fiber group affiliations. That dye and fiber class in 2001 and the late EMU professor Pat Williams, opened the doors to something really exciting.

Waterbug Wake


Technique: the cloth is a linen-like heavy textured cotton, the piece uses textile paints for the shibori work. there's devore to 'cut' out holes and pieces for rough-edge applique' the 'bugs' are hand-dyed rayon, hand embroidery -- that rya rug influence of fields, reeds and bug wings. 56" x 42" machine quilted, whole cloth with machine rough-edge applique.

Glacial Tracts
60" x 45"

Technique: From the River Mudflats Series: originally black Kona cotton. Heavily discharged shibori work, over dyed with indigo and walnut hull dye, hulls gathered from the river’s edge. Devore’ reveals walnut dyed cotton batting. The binding was left off to reveal the walnut dyed batting on the edges as well. Machine quilted, appliqué’. I was inspired by the islands revealed by a period of little rainfall. I imagined the mud scoured and marred by the spring ice break-up. **There’s a detail picture in the lower right hand corner.

Floral Reflections
14” x 14”

Technique: Background is textile paint on white Kona cotton, the binding is a black and white commercial fabric that I stained with textile paints. The yoyos are white cotton with textile paints. The ‘foliage’ and French knot ‘water spots’ is hand embroidery, hand dyed 5/2 rayon. Machine quilted. I was inspired the by the order of the fields across the road from the studio, seed heads and flower colors. They reflect into the sky lit waters. I see rya rugs (A rya is a traditional Scandinavian rug) everywhere in the fields and reeds in the river. It’s my new inspiration for this coming year.

This is one of Marilyn's 'inspiration' pictures! Images from the river and land – rya rug influence.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Marilyn and make sure to look for her work at exhibits in and out of state. Marilyn is in the process of getting her website up and running, until that time you can reach her at:

Fine Arts and Design Studio
8923 North Custer Road
Monroe, MI 48162
Studio Phone: 734-868-0013

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Upcoming Exhibits

The exhibit Rare Threads, Eclectic Meanderings will run from October 3 - November 12 at the Jordan River Arts Council in East Jordan, Michigan.
'The Three Furies' by Shannon Maisel will be on exibit at ART PRIZE, Water's Building (161 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 112, Grand Rapids, Michigan). This exhibit runs September 22 - October 10, 2010

Shannon also has work at GVSU, Allendale in the Womens Center at the Kirkhof Building. You can see more of Shannon's work on her web site: and get the inside scoop of Shannon's studio work by checking out her blog here.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

September Winner Is......

True Random Generator
Min: 1
Max: 8

Result: 5

And the winner is!!
Laurie Ceesay!

Congratulations Laurie! Your book will be in the mail this coming week!
Don't forget to either sign up for post updates or check back for new posts. We'll be having another 'give away' for a SAQA publication in October!
And remember to send us any updates for our Michigan region or ideas on posts you would like to see. You can email us at

Saturday, September 11, 2010

MQAI Exhibit

For those who couldn't make the opening of the MQAI - South of the Border Exhibit, here are a few of our own Michigan SAQA members art quilts on display. You can click on the photos for a 'closeup' view, but nothing beats seeing these wonderful quilts in person. The exhibit will be at the Greater Flint Art Gallery thru September. In case you can't make it to the gallery this month, you can check the schedule of the MQAI exhibit, which travels throughout Michigan, here. We'll post more of our own SAQA members quilts tomorrow. Enjoy!

Laruie Ceesay

Kathleen Campau

Mary Andrews

Barbara Bushey

Kathy Briggs

Donna Hamilton

Anne Hiemstra

More MQAI Exhibit photo's

Because curious minds want to know....the director of the Greater Flint Art Council, Greg Fiedler, estimated there were around 750 people at the MQAI opening on Friday! It certainly was crowded to say the least! So lots of eyes got to see some great art work.

Here are some more of our own SAQA members who participated in creating artwork for South of the Border! And yes, you are seeing correctly..those are wine bottles on the table! See what you missed!

Gretchen Jackson

Barbara Kilbourn

Lynn Krawczyk

Linda Larsen

Karen Kiley Olson

Robbie Payne

Bonnie Pennybacker

Carol Tamasiunas

Chris Worland

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Upcoming Fiber Events

by Mary Andrews
The MQAI South of the Border Opening Reception is on Friday, September 10, 2010 6:00 - 9:00pm at the Greater Flint Arts Council Gallery, 816 S. Saginaw St., Flint • Admission: Free
Art Lunch - Wednesday, September 15th 11:45am
Featuring PCAC’s September exhibiting artist Marilyn Prucka’s presentation “Not Afraid to Dye” about fiber art, creativity and process.
Tickets are $15 at the Plymouth Community Art Council, 774 N. Sheldon Road, Plymouth, MI 48170 734-416-4278.

Also, Marilyn will also be having an Artist Reception on Friday, September 24th 6-8 pm with refreshments (no charge). Marilyn Prucka’s quilts are abstract impressions of the landscape around her riverside studio in Monroe. She sees her fiber work as graphic, painterly and sculptural and, at the same time, a source of comfort.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

SAQA Give Away for September!

It's SAQA Michigan give away this week! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post (only) and you’re automatically entered to win the publication, SAQA@20 and Sense of Humor (a combined catalog).

SAQA@20: Art & Excellence, a juried exhibit which celebrated Studio Art Quilt Associates’ 20th Anniversary juried by Patricia Bolton, contains 35 art quilts. Curator was Cindy Rinne.

The Sense of Humor exhibit catalog contains 27 artworks from 24 artists which were juried in by Pam RuBert. This exhibit was curated by Patricia Gould. The exhibit was shown at the IQA shows in Houston (2009) as well as Chicago and Long Beach, California in 2010.

If you are NOT a blogger, select 'anonymous' as your profile in the comments section and then make sure to leave your full name or email in the comments section. Remember we have many members with the same first name so we need to know who you are to contact you.
This give away will remain open until midnight on Monday September 13th. The winner will be announced on Thursday, September 16th.

Thank you so much for participating! The WINNER will be selected using and yes, you can comment more than once!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New Book by Judi Blaydon

Judi's vision is now a reality! COLLAGE+CLOTH=QUILT is finally a book.

C&T did a fabulous job with the book design and photography. Included in the book are photo montage collages that inspired the quilts made by Judi's students from both the east and west coasts - - - as well as some of Judi's own work.

Judi's book shows techniques you can use to create an endless array of adventurous quilt designs inspired by your favorite photos. You'll discover simple ways to transform your photography into collage-inspired quilts that speak to your soul and you'll see your fabric stash in a whole new light!

If you would like to have an autographed copy, send a check for $27.95 plus postage (total check for $30) to:
Judi Blaydon
555 E. Commerce
Milford MI 48381

Congratulations, Judi!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Busy Summer for Laurie Ceesay

Our own Laurie Ceesay has been having a pretty good summer!

Her art quilt "1974"Good Hair" was juried in the wall quilt-pictorial category and will be on display at the Wisconsin Quilt Expo, Alliant Energy Center, Madison, WI, Sept. 9-11.2010. You can check out the show at

Another one of Laurie's art quilts, "Geisha", has been selected to be part of the traveling exhibit for the 2010 Hoffman Challenge. This quilt will travel the rest of 2010 and through next summer at various quilt venues.

And one more piece of good news for Laurie, her art work has been selected to be on the website, ArtShow as an associate artist. So congrats, Laurie for a great summer! You can see more of Laurie's work on her website.

'1974 Good Hair'
40.5" x 33"

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Upcoming Exhibit & Reception

Looking for something to do this weekend? How about starting it out by attending the opening reception for one of our SAQA members and your Co-Rep for the Michigan region! Mary Andrews is having a show at Gallery 194 in Lapeer. The show runs through September 4th with an opening reception on Friday evening, August 6th from 6 to 8 PM.

The exhibit, "Glass and Fibre", will also feature hand blown glass by David Hilte along with the art quilts by Mary, which were inspired by Chihuly glass from the Botanical Gardens in Arizona. This is a great way to start your weekend out or just add to your 'places to go' sometime in the month of August! The gallery is located next to the Pix Theater at 194 W. Nepessing, Lapeer. For more information, check out the Gallery 194 web site:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Drum roll, please!

And the winners of our give away this month are:
Donna Hamilton &
Ruth Anne Olson!
Congrats, ladies! Your catalog, SAQA: Creative Force/2007, will be in the mail this week! Don't forget to keep watching our blog for SAQA member updates, exhibits and our next give away coming in September!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

August SAQA Michigan Profile

August SAQA Michigan Profile:

Gretchen Jackson
Ann Arbor, Michigan

How long have you been sewing and when did you begin to make art quilts?

I began sewing while in Junior High School and made my clothes and those of my family for many years. I hand pieced my first bed quilt at age 16, using scraps from my sewing and I continued to do traditional functional quilts for many years always using traditional patterns. Following my retirement in 2000, I decided to see if I could create my own designs which gradually led to art quilting.

Describe your art and its inspiration.

My art and its design takes many forms. Some of my pieces are quite contemporary and abstract. For others I draw my inspiration from nature. Recently I have been dyeing much of my fabric, often utilizing various Shibori techniques. This has led me to a number of pieces that employ hand dyed fabrics in simple designs which have been heavily stitched and embellished with beading. Even though my current work is more contemporary, I still hand quilt all of my pieces.

Where do you do most of your artwork?

My studio is a small room at my home and this is where I do my design and construction. My dyeing is done in the basement and my hand quilting, stitching and embellishment are done on the sofa while I watch movies on TV!

What are your goals?

My goals are to explore many different techniques and styles, to entertain myself, to share my work through exhibits both locally and nationally. I am blessed by not having to support myself or even the expenses of my work – having a very supportive husband. So while I do occasionally sell a piece and/or do a commission, this is not my focus.

Where can your work be seen?

My work can be seen in various locations in Southeast Michigan. I occasionally have a one-person show, but also exhibit through two fiber groups of which I am a member: Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild and Paradigm Art Quilters.

What are your interests outside of art?

My education and early professional career was in music where I was an organist, church choir director and public school music teacher. Music continues to be important to me and I attend concerts regularly. I have also restored 5 old homes that had been badly neglected as well as created extensive perennial gardens for each of them.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Gretchen and look for her work in venues throughout South East Michigan. Here are two of Gretchen's art quilts for you to enjoy.